Tips for off-road driving in the UAE

04 Oct 2019

Driving trips, particularly those that involve off-road driving, can be exciting and fun.

The terrain of the United Arab Emirates is undeniably beautiful, with amazing wildlife.

However, if you are planning to go on an off-road driving trip into the desert, then there are some mistakes that you need to avoid for the sake of your own safety.

The first thing that you need to do is make sure that your car has the ability to deal with the terrain.

Your car may not have the capability of a 4×4 just because it happens to be an SUV.

Compact SUVs are actually the market’s fastest-growing segment.

Many brands are manufacturing vehicles that have the appearance of a traditional off-road vehicle but with a higher seating position and a greater amount of space.

However, these vehicles only operate in two-wheel drive and lack the ground clearance offered by the real thing. 

The service manual should be checked in order to ensure that the vehicle is suitable for off-road driving.

The next step is to ensure that both you and your vehicle are prepared to take such a trip in the UAE.

Your tank should be completely full and a secondary fuel can should be stored in the vehicle.

You will also need to check the roadworthiness of your car – it should have been checked and serviced recently, as should the spare tyre.

Any belongings in the vehicle should be secured within provided storage areas and maybe even tied down.

Ensure that your friends and family members are aware of your planned trip – never go on such a trip alone, and stay within your local region.

It is also a good idea to download an online compass app onto your mobile phone that gives you latitude and longitude.

This specifies your current location, making it easier for emergency services to be able to find you should the need arise.

There are many places in the UAE that provide a great variety of off-road driving experiences.

These include the likes of the Oman border’s rocky mountains and the enormous dunes in the country’s Empty Quarter.

It is a good idea to begin off-road driving in a desert that is near to a city, such as Al Ain, the old Hatta road and Al Qudra.

The dunes tend to be smaller in these deserts, allowing you to refine your off-road driving skills until you are ready to move on to bigger challenges.

Experienced off-road drivers are the best people to ask for advice in regard to locations when you are beginning.

There are many off-road driving clubs in the UAE, the members of which enjoy meeting new enthusiasts and providing assistance.

If you are doing any form of driving in the UAE, you will need to take out car insurance.

Car insurance is a legal obligation in the country, and is particularly important if you are intending to join the off-road driving community.